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1.  Epstein-Barr virus-specific intrathecal oligoclonal IgG production in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis is limited to a subset of patients and is composed of low-affinity antibodies 
Background
The purpose of this study was to investigate intrathecal production and affinity distributions of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-specific antibodies in multiple sclerosis (MS) and controls.
Methods
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum concentrations, quantitative intrathecal synthesis, oligoclonal bands (OCB) patterns and affinity distributions of anti-Epstein Barr virus (EBV) antibodies were evaluated in 100 relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients and 200 age- and sex-matched controls with other inflammatory neurological disorders (OIND) and other noninflammatory neurological disorders (NIND).
Results
Levels of anti-EBNA-1 and anti-viral capsid antigen (VCA) IgG were different in both the CSF (P <0.0001 and P <0.01, respectively) and serum (P <0.001 and P <0.05, respectively) among the RRMS, OIND and NIND. An intrathecal synthesis of anti-EBNA-1 IgG and anti-VCA IgG, as indicated by the antibody index, was underrepresented in the RRMS, OIND and NIND (range 1 to 7%). EBV-specific OCB were detected in 24% of the RRMS patients and absent in the controls. High-affinity antibodies were more elevated in the RRMS and in the OIND than in the NIND for CSF anti-EBNA-1 IgG (P <0.0001) and anti-VCA IgG (P <0.0001). After treatment with increasing concentrations of sodium thiocyanate, the EBV-specific IgG OCB had low affinity in all 24 RRMS patients analyzed.
Conclusions
Our findings do not support the potential role of an EBV persistent brain chronic infection in MS and suggest that an EBV-specific intrathecal oligoclonal IgG production can occur in a subset of MS patients as part of humoral polyreactivity driven by chronic brain inflammation.
doi:10.1186/s12974-014-0188-1
PMCID: PMC4232674  PMID: 25391491
2.  Significant Low Prevalence of Antibodies Reacting with Simian Virus 40 Mimotopes in Serum Samples from Patients Affected by Inflammatory Neurologic Diseases, Including Multiple Sclerosis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e110923.
Many investigations were carried out on the association between viruses and multiple sclerosis (MS). Indeed, early studies reported the detections of neurotropic virus footprints in the CNS of patients with MS. In this study, sera from patients affected by MS, other inflammatory (OIND) and non-inflammatory neurologic diseases (NIND) were analyzed for antibodies against the polyomavirus, Simian Virus 40 (SV40). An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), with two synthetic peptides, which mimic SV40 antigens, was employed to detect specific antibodies in sera from patients affected by MS, OIND, NIND and healthy subjects (HS). Immunologic data indicate that in sera from MS patients antibodies against SV40 mimotopes are detectable with a low prevalence, 6%, whereas in HS of the same mean age, 40 yrs, the prevalence was 22%. The difference is statistically significant (P = 0.001). Significant is also the difference between MS vs. NIND patients (6% vs. 17%; P = 0.0254), whereas no significant difference was detected between MS vs OIND (6% vs 10%; P>0.05). The prevalence of SV40 antibodies in MS patients is 70% lower than that revealed in HS.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110923
PMCID: PMC4218715  PMID: 25365364
4.  Some Basic Aspects of HLA-G Biology 
Journal of Immunology Research  2014;2014:657625.
Human leukocyte antigen-G (HLA-G) is a low polymorphic nonclassical HLA-I molecule restrictively expressed and with suppressive functions. HLA-G gene products are quite complex, with seven HLA-G isoforms, four membrane bound, and other three soluble isoforms that can suffer different posttranslational modifications or even complex formations. In addition, HLA-G has been described included in exosomes. In this review we will focus on HLA-G biochemistry with special emphasis to the mechanisms that regulate its expression and how the protein modifications affect the quantification in biological fluids.
doi:10.1155/2014/657625
PMCID: PMC4000973  PMID: 24818168
5.  Infection and HLA-G Molecules in Nasal Polyposis 
Journal of Immunology Research  2014;2014:407430.
Sinonasal polyposis (SNP) is a chronic inflammatory pathology with an unclear aetiopathogenesis. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is one candidate for the development of SNP for its epithelial cell trophism, hyperproliferative effect, and the induction of immune-modulatory molecules as HLA-G. We enrolled 10 patients with SNP without concomitant allergic diseases (SNP-WoAD), 10 patients with SNP and suffering from allergic diseases (SNP-WAD), and 10 control subjects who underwent rhinoplasty. We analyzed the presence of high- and low-risk HPV DNA and the expression of membrane HLA-G (mHLA-G) and IL-10 receptor (IL-10R) and of soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) and IL-10 by polyp epithelial cells. The results showed the presence of HPV-11 in 50% of SNP-WoAD patients (OR:5.5), all characterized by a relapsing disease. HPV-11 infection was absent in nonrelapsing SNP-WoAD patients, in SNP-WAD patients and in controls, supporting the hypothesis that HPV-11 increases risk of relapsing disease. HPV-11 positive SNP-WoAD patients presented with mHLA-G and IL-10R on epithelial cells from nasal polyps and showed secretion of sHLA-G and IL-10 in culture supernatants. No HLA-G expression was observed in HPV negative polyps. These data highlight new aspects of polyposis aetiopathogenesis and suggest HPV-11 and HLA-G/IL-10 presence as prognostic markers in the follow-up of SNP-WoAD.
doi:10.1155/2014/407430
PMCID: PMC3987795  PMID: 24741599
6.  Balanced and unbalanced solutions modulate the release of Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) from neutrophils in response to inflammatory stimuli: an in vitro study 
Inflammation Research  2014;63(5):325-328.
Objectives and design
We investigated the effect of balanced (BS) and unbalanced (UBS) solutions in the absence or presence of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) on neutrophil functionality, evaluating the release of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, myeloperoxidase (MPO), and MMP-8.
Materials and methods
Neutrophils were isolated by gradient centrifugation and dextran sedimentation and incubated in BS or UBS without or with HES, in the absence or presence of Interleukin-8 (IL-8) or Lipopolysaccharide (LPS). MMP-9, MPO, and MMP-8 were assayed by commercially available ELISA kits.
Results
There was not any influence of volume replacement solutions on the release of the enzymes from resting neutrophils. After IL-8 stimulation, the release of MMP-9 was higher in BS than in UBS or RPMI-1640, whereas HES enhanced its release regardless of the composition. After LPS stimulation, the release of MMP-9 was higher in both UBS and BS than RPMI-1640, but HES brought its release back to physiological conditions. No difference was found in the release of MPO and MMP-8 after stimulation with IL-8 or LPS.
Conclusion
Volume replacement solutions might have an impact on the release of MMP-9 depending on the inflammatory milieu, suggesting that the use of balanced or unbalanced solutions is not a neutral choice.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00011-014-0709-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00011-014-0709-5
PMCID: PMC3983875  PMID: 24458309
Matrix Metalloproteinase-9; Neutrophil; Balanced solution; Unbalanced solution; Volume replacement solutions
7.  HLA-G Molecules in Autoimmune Diseases and Infections 
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G molecule, a non-classical HLA-Ib molecule, is less polymorphic when compared to classical HLA class I molecules. Human leukocyte antigen-G (HLA-G) was first detected on cytotrophoblast cells at the feto-maternal interface but its expression is prevalent during viral infections and several autoimmune diseases. HLA-G gene is characterized by polymorphisms at the 3′ un-translated region and 5′ upstream regulatory region that regulate its expression and are associated with autoimmune diseases and viral infection susceptibility, creating an unbalanced and pathologic environment. This review focuses on the role of HLA-G genetic polymorphisms, mRNA, and protein expression in autoimmune conditions and viral infections.
doi:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00592
PMCID: PMC4235267  PMID: 25477881
HLA-G; inflammation; autoimmunity; infection; regulation
8.  Technical, Anatomical, and Functional Study after Removal of a Symptomatic Cavernous Angioma Located in Deep Wernicke's Territories with Cortico-Subcortical Awake Mapping 
Introduction. The subcortical region underneath Wernicke's area (WA) is a critical crossing of the eloquent language pathways involved in all semantic, phonological, syntactic, and working memory elaboration. We report the resection of a CA located underneath the dominant WA discussing the functional and anatomical evidence provided by fMRI, dissections with Klingler's technique, and intraoperative mapping during awake surgery. Case Report. A 64-year-old right-handed female affected by daily complex focal seizures underwent f-MRI, showing language activations in the middle and inferior temporal gyri and an unusual free entry zone in the “classical” WA. The cortical intraoperative mapping partially confirmed the f-MRI results, and we approached the lesion directly through WA. Subcortical DES allowed the identification of the eloquent language pathways and the radical resection of the perilesional gliotic rim. The patient did not report deficits and she is seizures and drug free after 1-year surgery. Discussion. Cortical DES demonstrated the variability of the eloquent areas within the cortex of the dominant temporal lobe. The subcortical DES confirmed the crucial role in language elaboration and the anatomical course of the bundles underneath WA. Conclusions. Awake surgery with DES represents a reliable and dynamic technique also for safer and functional-customized resection of CAs.
doi:10.1155/2013/835029
PMCID: PMC3707287  PMID: 23864972
9.  Angioplasty in acute middle cerebral artery stroke due to atrial fibrillation selected by CT perfusion: a case report 
We report the experience of a case of acute stroke in a patient affected by Rendu Osler syndrome and atrial fibrillation. The combination of dynamic computerized tomography perfusion scans and the use of a high-compliance balloon allowed increasing the treatment window for intra-arterial recanalization over 6 h after stroke onset in a patient with middle cerebral artery occlusion.
doi:10.1186/1865-1380-4-23
PMCID: PMC3120651  PMID: 21645340
10.  Spontaneous and idiopathic chronic spinal epidural hematoma: two case reports and review of the literature 
European Spine Journal  2009;18(11):1555-1561.
Spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) represents the most frequent entity of acute or chronic spinal bleeding. Based upon pathogenesis, SEH can be classified as idiopathic, spontaneous, and secondary. The idiopathic forms are considered not to be attributed to any specific risk factors. Spontaneous SEH, accounting for 0.3–0.9% of all spinal epidural space occupying lesions, instead is associated with risk factors (such as substantial soft trauma or coagulation abnormalities). The chronic form, as our literature review revealed, is the rarest and its most frequent location is the lumbar spine. The pathophysiology of spontaneous and idiopathic SEH is still under debate: There are only a few reports in literature of chronically evolving SEH with progressively increasing pain and neurological impairment. Magnetic resonance imaging may be inconclusive for differential diagnosis. Here, we present two cases of lumbar chronic SEH with slow, progressive, and persistent lumbar radicular impairment. The first patient reported a minor trauma with slight back contusion and thus was classified as spontaneous SEH. In the second case not even a minor trauma was involved, so we considered it to be idiopathic SEH. In both cases preoperative blood and coagulation tests were normal and we did not find any other or co-factors in the patients’ clinical histories. MR imaging showed uncertain spinal canal obstructing lesions at L3 and L4 level in both cases. Surgical treatment allowed a correct diagnosis and resulted in full clinical and neuroradiological recovery after 1 year follow-up. Our aim is to discuss pathogenesis, clinical and radiological features, differential diagnosis and treatment options, on the background of relevant literature review.
doi:10.1007/s00586-009-1175-6
PMCID: PMC2899401  PMID: 19859747
Spontaneous; Idiopathic; Chronic; Hematoma; Epidural; Spinal
11.  Chlamydophila pneumoniae Infection and Its Role in Neurological Disorders 
Chlamydophila pneumoniae is an intracellular pathogen responsible for a number of different acute and chronic infections. The recent deepening of knowledge on the biology and the use of increasingly more sensitive and specific molecular techniques has allowed demonstration of C. pneumoniae in a large number of persons suffering from different diseases including cardiovascular (atherosclerosis and stroke) and central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Despite this, many important issues remain unanswered with regard to the role that C. pneumoniae may play in initiating atheroma or in the progression of the disease. A growing body of evidence concerns the involvement of this pathogen in chronic neurological disorders and particularly in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Monocytes may traffic C. pneumoniae across the blood-brain-barrier, shed the organism in the CNS and induce neuroinflammation. The demonstration of C. pneumoniae by histopathological, molecular and culture techniques in the late-onset AD dementia has suggested a relationship between CNS infection with C. pneumoniae and the AD neuropathogenesis. In particular subsets of MS patients, C. pneumoniae could induce a chronic persistent brain infection acting as a cofactor in the development of the disease. The role of Chlamydia in the pathogenesis of mental or neurobehavioral disorders including schizophrenia and autism is uncertain and fragmentary and will require further confirmation.
doi:10.1155/2010/273573
PMCID: PMC2825657  PMID: 20182626
12.  Multiple Sclerosis and HERV-W/MSRV: A Multicentric Study 
We designed a large multicentric study to analyse the presence of MSRV particles in blood and CSF of a large cohort of patients and controls from different European areas. 149 MS patients and 153 neurological and healthy controls were selected from Sardinia, Spain, Northern-Italy and Sweden. To avoid biological and inter-assay variability MSRV was detected within a single laboratory through nested and real-time PCR assays specific for pol and env genes. MSRV detection in blood and CSF of MS patients and controls in populations of different ethnicity gave significant differences (p<0.05 compared to neurological controls and <0.001 compared to healthy controls). The presence and viral load of MSRV are significantly associated with MS as compared to neurological and healthy controls in all ethnic groups.
PMCID: PMC3614662  PMID: 23675056
human endogenous retrovirus; HERV-W; MSRV; multiple sclerosis

Results 1-12 (12)